Divorce And Family Law Attorney

Misconceptions about fathers and child custody

Entering into the world of child custody for the first time can be overwhelming. So many questions, and so many wrong answers. Sometimes, it is hard to know who to believe when advice is flying at you from all directions by friends and family. 

Now is the perfect time to educate yourself on child custody and the importance of having a solid parenting plan in a divorce. Misconceptions about men and child custody are held by both men and women. It is possible to be sincere, and be sincerely wrong. Let’s clear the air. 

Misleading beliefs and misinformation abound

The following are three common misconceptions that people have about child custody as reported by the Texas Attorney General:

1. Fathers are always the non-custodial parents

Many people think only fathers can be noncustodial parents, but that is not the case. In Texas, about 10 percent of noncustodial parents are mothers. This also dispels the myth that men don’t have sole custody of children in Texas. 

2. A father’s name on a birth certificate establishes paternity

No, it doesn’t. There are two ways to establish legal paternity. Unmarried couples can establish fatherhood by signing a document called an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP), or by petitioning the court. Merely signing a birth certificate does not legally establish paternity in Texas.  

3. If I don’t go to court, then paternity can’t be established

If both the mother and father sign the AOP, there’s no reason to go to court. If a court hearing is necessary, you can generally establish paternity through genetic testing (DNA).

The amount of bad information is almost limitless. However, the three above are examples of how both men and women can believe wrong or misleading information about fatherhood and child custody. Don’t let misinformation affect your parenting rights